photo: Smaku via Flickr

In what has been billed locally as the first Arab-American to win, Michigan’s Rima Fakih won the Miss USA pageant Sunday night.

The 24-year-old brunette from Michigan beat out four blondes and 46 other women for the 2010 Miss USA title after nearly stumbling in her evening gown.

Fakih won the pageant Sunday night after swimsuit, evening gown and interview competitions.

During the competition, Fakih nearly fell while finishing her walk in a long, strapless gown because of the length of its train, but she recovered without a spill and went on to win.

In the interview, Fakih was asked whether she thought birth control should be paid for by health insurance, and she said she believed it should.

Meanwhile, runner up Miss Oklahoma Morgan Elizabeth Woolard said she supported AZ’s anti-immigration law.

Miss Oklahoma USA Morgan Elizabeth Woolard was first runner-up after handling a question about Arizona’s new immigration law. She said she supports it.

Detroit Free Press did a long profile of Fakih earlier today–detailing not only how Arab-American anti-discrimination groups funded some of Fakih’s earlier pageant competitions–including the swimsuit competitions, but also how she was raised in Catholic schools, with her family celebrating both Muslim and Christian holidays.

How come beauty pageants have become the big focus of politics of late?



Marcy Wheeler aka Emptywheel is an American journalist whose reporting specializes in security and civil liberties.